Couillard government won't rush into dealing with legalized marijuana

The federal Liberal government has finally launched its long-awaited effort to legalize recreational marijuana, setting in motion a host of sweeping policy changes for public safety and health across Canada.

If all this sound like a hassle and you just want to stay home, you could grow your own pot - each household will be allowed up to four plants, not to be taller than one metre in height.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale was asked that question - whether the Liberal government had sought assurances from the USA that someone who admitted to using cannabis legally would not face the same fate.

Shares of licensed marijuana producers were trading lower following the announcement, including Canopy Growth Corp, which was off 2.8 percent to C$10.03, while OrganiGram Holdings Inc slipped 4.8 percent to C$2.95. "It is not a free for all", he said during a news conference after the bills were tabled.

The government of Canada published a press release today proposing a piece of legislation, the Cannabis Act, which would regulate the industry by July of 2018. Howe Institute, Canada is set to garner approximately $675 million ($500 million US) annually in tax revenue from legal marijuana sales.

"The current approach to cannabis does not work".

Under the federal government's proposed new law introduced today. The federal government will oversee packaging and labelling.

The legislation would establish a user's minimum age at 18 years, though individual provinces can raise that legal limit.

Advertisements for cannabis will only be allowed in places where anyone underage wouldn't be able to see them, but you will see campaigns targeted at youth to discourage them from using pot.

No matter where it's sold, customers still would not be allowed to bring marijuana products back to the United States under any circumstances.

The move to legalize recreational use of marijuana is supported by a strong majority of Canadians, but is not without controversy and is sure to provoke a fierce debate in parliament over the coming months. "There are billions upon billions of dollars flowing into the pockets of organized crime, street gangs, and gunrunners. if we can get that out of the criminal elements and into a more regulated fashion, we will reduce the amount of criminal activity that's profiting from those".

According to the bill, the minimum age to purchase marijuana in Canada is 18 years old.

Health Minister Jane Philpott says criminalizing cannabis has not deterred use among young people, noting products like alcohol and tobacco are legally available with restrictions.

Possession, production and distribution outside the legal system would remain illegal, as would imports or exports without a federal permit.

Although recreational marijuana use has been legalised in some U.S. states, including Colorado and Washington, the legislation puts Canada on track to be the first Group of Seven country to legalise it nationally.

  • Joanne Flowers